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What Do Shrimp Eat? Top 6 Foods To Feed Shrimp

what do shrimp eat
Written by Antra Kamble

Many of us eat shrimp, but have you ever wondered what do shrimp eat? Shrimps are tiny omnivores who consume a huge variety of foods in the ocean. Their diet is varied as they are scavengers and eat whatever they can find that is organic. In this article, I am going to share some of their favorite foods and interesting facts about them. There are more than 3000 species of shrimp that exist worldwide. Here, I have picked out some species that are mostly found in the oceans and seas. You can read this complete guide to find out what do shrimp eat!

What Do Shrimp Eat?

If you are planning to raise a shrimp, then you must know what do shrimp eat in a fish tank. Below I have listed down some food items you can feed your shrimp.

  1. Algae
  2. Fresh Vegetables
  3. Cuttlebone
  4. Carcass
  5. Leaf Litter
  6. Commercial Foods

These tiny creatures like to eat algae and commercial foods. Here, I have also mentioned the best commercial foods for shrimps. You can continue to read to know what do shrimp eat more in detail.

Top 6 Foods For Shrimps

The diet of shrimp consists of a variety of food items. In this section, you will get to know what do shrimp eat in freshwater.

  1. Algae

Shrimps mostly rely on a plant-based diet. So, do shrimp eat algae then? Yes, algae play an important role in your shrimps’ diet. In your tank, you can add plenty of green algae for the shrimp to graze on. They will happily nibble away all the algae. When they finished up the algae you can add some supplementary foods if needed. After a while, you have to stop feeding supplementary foods and start feeding them algae.

  1. Fresh Vegetables

If you are short of green algae then you can feed your shrimp some fresh veggies. You can include the following vegetables in your shrimp’s diet.

  1. Kale
  2. Sweet potatoes
  3. Cucumber
  4. Spinach
  5. Zucchini
  6. Broccoli
  7. Carrot

You have to peel these veggies, slice them, and then cook them in boiling water for a few minutes. Let these veggies cool before you feed them. This cooking method makes them soft enough for the shrimp to eat. Just keep a piece of vegetable in your tank overnight. Make sure you remove the leftover veggies the next morning.

  1. Leaf Litter

You can put some leaves in your tank to feed your shrimp. Just collect some dry leaves from your local area and feed them. These leaves consist of colonies of infusoria, microorganisms, and some harmless bacterias. Shrimps will happily eat all this decomposing matter and organisms present on it. But ensure that they are free from chemical fertilizers or pesticides. You can also buy almond leaves from your local fish store or online websites. Almond leaves provide them a large surface area to graze on.

  1. Cuttlebone

This may sound a little weird, but yes you can feed dried cuttlefish bones to your shrimp. You can find them easily in any pet store in the bird section. Just break them into small pieces and place them in your tank. Shrimps will lovingly graze on them. Cuttlebone is a great source of dietary calcium and is also important for shell growth.

  1. Carcass

For your information, a carcass is a dead body of animals. Shrimps in the ocean and sea enjoy eating the following dead animal carcasses.

  1. Sea snails
  2. Clams
  3. Fish
  4. Whales

In this way, Shrimps offers a great contribution towards cleaning our ecosystem.

  1. Commercial Foods

You must be now wondering what do aquarium shrimp eat. You can feed them some animal-based commercial foods. Here are some best commercial foods for your aquarium shrimps.

  1. Shirakura Shrimp Food
  2. Hikari Crab Cuisine
  3. Omega One Sinking Pellets
  4. Sakura Red Cherry Shrimp Food

Foods For Baby Shrimp

Nowadays, people love to keep baby shrimps along with their other fish in their fish tank. But first, it is very important to know what does baby shrimp eat. Let us check out the below.

  1. Plankton
  2. Algae
  3. Commercial foods such as Powershrimp Baby Shrimp Food, Glasgarten Shrimp Baby Food, and CSF Spinach Power.

Foods For Adult Shrimp

Adult shrimps are scavengers who like eating organic matter. Their diet depends upon where they are located. Let us see what do adult shrimp like to eat.

  1. Plant matter
  2. Dead fish
  3. Clams
  4. Snails
  5. Crabs
  6. Worms
  7. Pellet food
  8. Smaller shrimp

Foods For Farmed Shrimps

If you love doing shrimp farming, then you must know what do farmed shrimp eat. The diet of farmed shrimp will be different than in the sea or ocean. Here is the list of a variety of food items you can feed them.

  1. Pallet food
  2. Spinach
  3. Broccoli
  4. Cucumbers
  5. Small pieces of pears
  6. Flake foods
  7. Kale
  8. Green peas
  9. Carrots
  10. Brown and green algae

Foods For Shirmp In The Ocean

Many among us love eating shrimp in our daily life, but do you know what do shrimp eat in the ocean? In this section, I am going to share their favorite foods in the ocean.

  1. Plankton
  2. Algae
  3. Small Fishes
  4. Carcass

Foods For Shrimp In The Coral Reef

Shrimps that live near coral reefs are known as coral shrimps. Now, you must be thinking what do shrimp eat in the coral reef? Here, is the list of things that they like to eat in the coral reef.

  1. Aquatic worms
  2. Zooplankton
  3. Crustaceans
  4. Arthropods
  5. Small fishes
  6. Parasites

Foods For Different Species Of Shrimps

You may find a huge variety of shrimps. In this section, you will get to know what does saltwater shrimp eat including some other species.

Type Of ShrimpDiet
1. Saltwater Shrimp1.Algae
2.Dead Skin of other organisms
3.Seagrass
4.Small fish
5.Plankton Tiny invertebrates 
2. Pink Shrimp1.Planktons
2.Plants
3.Yeast
4.Molds
5.Diatoms
6.Small Mollusks
7.Plant Detritus
8.Copepods
9.Bacterial Films
10.Algae
3. Gabon Shrimp1.Algae
2.Detritus
3.Insects
4.Diatoms
4. Pacific Cleaner Shrimp1.Parasites
2.Dead Fish
3.Plant matter
4.Meat
5. Red Cherry Shrimp1.Pellets
2.Algae wafers
3.Zucchini
4.Carrots

Life Cycle Of A Shrimp

Generally, the lifespan of a shrimp is 1 to 2 years. The female shrimps are highly capable of storing sperms of multiple partners. However, a female shrimp can lay 50000 to 1 million eggs that can be fertilized at the bottom of the water. They take nearly two weeks for the hatching of their eggs. These tiny creatures undergo several larval stages to become adult shrimps. Adult shrimp mostly eat small fishes in the ocean. They can survive up to more than 16000 feet under deep water.

What Eats Shrimp?

By now you have understood what do shrimp eat. But sometimes, these tiny creatures are also eaten by other aquatic animals. Let us check out what eats shrimp!

  1. Fish
  2. Crabs
  3. Sea urchins
  4. Starfish
  5. Seabirds such as puffins
  6. Whales
  7. Dolphins
  8. Seahorses
  9. Sharks
  10. Humans

Interesting Facts About Shrimps

Shrimps may look like small and uninteresting creatures. But there are some interesting things that you may not know about them. Here, I have listed down six facts about shrimps that may change your perception of these tiny creatures.

  1. The pacific cleaner shrimp act as cleaners for other fish in your aquarium.
  2. Female shrimps can carry their eggs on the underside of their bodies with the help of their tail.
  3. There are certain species of shrimps that come out only in the night to eat. You will never see them during the daylight.
  4. Shrimps are brilliant swimmers. They move around in the water by bending their muscles and tail.
  5. Shrimps shed off their skin as they start growing up.

FAQ

Do Shrimps Eat Poop?

Yes, some shrimps do eat poops to get essential nutrients.

What Does Freshwater Shrimp Eat?

Freshwater shrimp like to eat the following food items.

  1. Algae
  2. Bacteria
  3. Microorganisms
  4. Decaying plant matter
  5. Dead fish
  6. Dead shrimp

Do Shrimps Eat Vegetables?

Yes, shrimps do eat vegetables. Below I have listed down a few of their favorites for you.

  1. Kale
  2. Kuri Squash
  3. Sweet potatoes
  4. Cucumber
  5. Spinach
  6. Zucchini
  7. Broccoli
  8. Carrot

Why Shrimp Is Bad For You?

Medical experts have said that eating too much shrimp is bad for you. There is a high amount of cholesterol present in shrimp. It may lead to the following health issues.

  1. Nausea
  2. Vomiting
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Abdominal pain
  5. Cramps

What Plants Do Shrimp Eat?

Shrimp like to eat plants such as algae, dead, and living plants.

Conclusion

Thus, I assume that you have now understood what do shrimp eat. These tiny creatures are widely found in the oceans and seas. Their favorite food includes algae, plankton, bland small fishes. You can also them fresh vegetables such as spinach, squash, zucchini, broccoli, etc. These vegetables provide them a good amount of protein. Make sure you boil these vegetables before you feed them. Try some other commercial foods like Shirakura Shrimp Food, Hikari Crab Cuisine, Omega One Sinking Pellets. But make sure you don’t overfeed them. By knowing what do shrimp eat will help you to feed your aquarium shrimp.

About the author

Antra Kamble

Hi, I am Antra Kamble. I enjoy drawing paintings and watching movies in my free time. I also love to travel and explore new places, learn new things. I am fond of writing and reading.

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